Photo courtesy of the city of Chandler
Come and get it! Chandler’s Tumbleweed Ranch will host the Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-off on Nov. 10 and 11. This unique family-friendly event features a Dutch oven cooking competition in which 1880s style chuck wagon teams cook five courses, meat, potatoes, beans, bread, and dessert, over a wood fire. The Ranch is an event space within Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Rd.
While the main culinary competition is on Saturday, this year’s event includes a Meet, Greet, and Eat VIP Dinner at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10. The menu features Southwestern pork tenderloin tips, fire roasted pork ribs, baked dirty rice, summer corn salad, and dessert. Enjoy the opportunity to visit with the chuck wagon teams at this intimate dinner. Seating is limited and tickets are $50 per attendee.
On Saturday, the Chuck Wagon Cook-off runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free parking, admission, and activities. Meals are served at noon. Saturday lunch tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance at the pardnersoftumbleweedranch.org. Each wagon cooks 50 meals, and the tickets always sell out quickly. Judges will reward the best meals with cash prizes.
Tickets for both the Friday evening event and Saturday lunch are available online. The Chuck Wagon Cook-off is hosted by the Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch, a 501c3 entity, and the Chandler Museum. Funds raised help develop educational outreach opportunities at Tumbleweed Ranch.
“Think of chuck wagons as the first food truck and the black iron pot, called a Dutch oven or camp oven, was the original slow cooker,” says Dave McDowell, president of the Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch. “The whole family will enjoy this homage to the Wild West, with comfort food prepared just as it would have been during at 1880s cattle drive,” McDowell adds.
Saturday’s activities include a welcome from Mayor Kevin Hartke, a flag ceremony, trick roping with Cowboy Steve, a Lil’ Rustlers kids’ game area, a performance from the Maricopa County Cloggers, and more. Small plates, like mesquite fire roasted chicken, camp pork stew, biscuits, and peach cobbler, will be available both Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets, ranging from $4 to $15, will be available for purchase onsite.
“The Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-off is one of the largest events of its kind in the Southwest,” says Chandler Museum Administrator Jody Crago. “The Chandler Museum team is honored to work with Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch to bring this event to the community each year.”
More information for the Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-off can be found online at pardnersoftumbleweedranch.org or by calling 480-782-2717.